Redskins Training Camp: Offense Preview
The 2013 Washington Redskins had issues sustaining drives and making it into the red zone on a consistent basis. It is very possible that second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III rushed his rehab/comeback and also missed out on valuable offseason activities in the process of rehabbing. Maybe he should not have started the first few games, maybe he should have…why live in the past? I’m sure everyone associated with the Redskins would like to move on from the Mike Shanahan era in DC. Looking forward, the 2014 Redskins have a new offensive-minded head coach in Jay Gruden, who at this point is at “wait and see” status. A lot is learned in the first season of being a head coach in the NFL, so I expect at least a small learning curve for Gruden.
Offensive Line: – (Bold AND Italic = not with team any longer)
2013 – Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus, J. D. Walton, Maurice Hurt (IR)
2014 – Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, Adam Gettis, Josh LeRibeus, Maurice Hurt, Kevin Kowalski, Spencer Long, Mike McGlynn, Tevita Stevens, Morgan Moses
The Redskins made three moves that will directly affect the offensive line this season. They released center Will Montgomery, signed former Cleveland Browns guard Shawn Lauvao and then moved Kory Lichensteiger to center to replace Montgomery. The Redskins also drafted tackle Morgan Moses and guard Spencer Long this spring. Moses is challenging Tyler Polumbus for the right tackle spot but has much to learn still.
This camp/preseason is critical for Adam Gettis and Josh LeRibeus; both of which haven’t progressed as they should have and haven’t seen the field in the process. In a perfect man’s world either Gettis or LeRibeus could step up enough to move in the starting lineup, Chris Chester didn’t have a good year in 2013 and has a big contract moving forward. Finding a way to cut a large chunk of cap space by releasing Chester would be ideal, but it will only be possible if someone steps up. If not, let’s hope Chester does better in 2014.
2013 – Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman
2014 – Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Almost convinced that coach Jay Gruden will only use two quarterbacks in 2014, leaving Colt McCoy as the odd man out.
In 2014 it’s no secret that it’s Robert Griffin III’s team and Bruce Allen stocked the cupboard full of speedy weapons to improve on their already top 10 offense the last two years. Griffin has spent his entire playing career (college and pro) being doubted and told he can’t do something, so the negative media that has followed him since injuring his knee in the 2012 playoff game against the Seahawks is simply fuel to the fire. The offense appears to be going to more of a traditional passing set and away from the read-option, which is music to Griffin’s ears. I wouldn’t expect Griffin to stop running with the ball, but I do expect him to be running a lot less designed running plays. Kirk Cousins has looked good through camp and is a solid backup if Colt McCoy is retained on the roster I would not expect him ever to dress unless there is an injury.
2013 – Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr, Chris Thompson (IR), Evan Royster (IR), Jawan Jamison, Darrel Young (FB)
2014 – Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr, Chris Thompson, Lache Seastrunk, Evan Royster, Darrel Young (FB), Stephen Campbell (FB), Silas Redd
The starting role is set, and the backup is known as Alfred Morris, and Roy Helu Jr are 1-2. Past the first backup it gets a little cloudy as Chris Thompson and Lache Seastrunk are battling it out with Evan Royster and Silas Redd for the other backup role. Not sure at this point, but let’s say the Redskins plan on keeping three running backs and one fullback. In that scenario, Chris Thompson would likely be the leader at this point as he has displayed improvement catching the ball this summer. Lache Seastrunk is a late round talent that could be a future piece to the puzzle so that position battle could get interesting.
2013 – Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson (IR), Santana Moss, Josh Bellamy, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, Dezmon Briscoe (IR)
2013 – Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Leonard Hankerson (PUP), Santana Moss, Ryan Grant, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, Lee Doss, Cody Hoffman, Rashad Lawrence
If there is one area of the team that the Redskins improved the most in it is definitely the wide receiver position. The Redskins signed speed this offseason getting former Arizona Cardinal Andre Roberts. They also drafted Ryan Grant; who has shined in training camp thus far and is a name to watch out for in the preseason. The unit they would have fielded then would be an improvement over the 2012 group, but the Redskins struck gold when the Eagles cut a speedy game-changer named DeSean Jackson.
Signing Jackson without having to give anything up in the process and paying him less money than he was making already is a steal and a power move within the NFC East. Pierre Garcon set a franchise record for catches in 2013 and 1300+ yards while being double teamed 70% of the time, Jackson had much of the same and put up 1300+ yards last year as well. It just isn’t possible to double cover all of these targets so expect a lot of single-man coverage from defenses and little to no “8-man in the box” fronts that made things difficult last year.
2013 – Jordan Reed (IR), Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
2014 – Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Ted Bolser
If Jordan Reed can stay healthy, he is a budding superstar in the NFL and should have a breakout season in 2014. With all the speed at the receiver position, the Redskins should have little to no issues having a tight end open in the flats a good majority of the time. With Logan Paulsen being the better blocking tight end of this group it looks like the only battle that will have to play out at tight end is between Niles Paul (who is a great special teams guy as well) and Ted Bolser, Paul has the advantage heading into preseason.